Tag Archives: creative writing

Is Your Writing Original?

23 Jan

003And another Thursday is upon us. I hope my friends in the Midwest and East have recovered from yet another snowstorm.  Hopefully February will bring you some relief.

Meanwhile here in balmy Olympia, all is well. I continue to make progress on the novel….I’m 80,000 words into it and still don’t have a working title. LOL  No hurry I guess.  When I finally finish this novel then I am going to turn my attention to several ebooks that have been in the planning stage for quite some time.  By year’s end I hope to have three of those done and published.  So it is a busy time here and I’m sure it is for you as well.  That’s what we writers do you know….we write!

Today I think we’ll talk about originality, but first a quote.


The world in general doesn’t know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger.
W. Somerset Maugham

I love that quote but I certainly hope you don’t face anger from the public for your originality.

A truly original thought in writing is rare.  The major themes have been done to death, have they not?  Truly good writers, however, can take a theme that has been beaten into a bloody pulp, and give it a new twist….a new approach….a touch of originality in how that theme is handled….and suddenly success arrives.

As you contemplate your next article, or your next story, or your next book, look for that new twist…that new approach.  I think your readers will be quite pleased that you did.



Come on….you know you want to write about this. J


Give this one a try and see if it doesn’t get the juices flowing.  The Super Bowl is coming in a little over one week from now.  Write 200 words related to the Super Bowl.  You don’t need to be a football fan to do this; in fact, not being a fan might be an advantage with regards to originality.


Take a break.  I’m going to go eat lunch and then I’m going to go for a walk. I need it. I’ve been cooped up  in this studio for almost three years now and the walls are starting to squeeze me.  It’s time for some fresh air and a new perspective.


I hope this weekend is restful for you.  Spend some down time from writing and think about where you are headed.  Are you meeting your goals? If not, what’s holding you back?  Are you satisfied with your writing?  What can you do differently to jump start your writing career?

Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Finding Your Creative Genius In Writing

15 Jul


An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
Edwin Land
Obviously we now know what today’s blog post is about….creativity in freelance writing.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. (that was for Leslie)

How do you make money in freelancing if you do not write for content mills? That question was asked of me last Friday, and my article today tackled that question….and we are going to tackle it in this blog as well.

There are very few limits in freelance writing.  If you do not like what the content mills pay then don’t write for them.  Get out and find your own work and get paid what you are worth.

But how, Bill?  I can hear the whining from here.  How do we do it, Bill? Where do we start?

Just start!  Get business cards, set up a website and/or blog, go out and cold-call for jobs, apply for online jobs that actually pay what you are worth, network, set up contacts and above all, use your sense of creativity.

A friend of mine….Sydney….just created a website for tourism in Austin, Texas.  You can find it here.  She is going to sell advertising on it and build that writing gig from scratch.  She saw a need and now she is going to fill that need.  In other words, she used her imagination and her creativity and God bless her for having the courage to risk failure in order to possibly succeed.

Where is there a need in your community?  How can you fill that need?  What are the latest trends in society?  How can you use those trends to make money?


I am going to pound this concept until the cows come home in hopes that someone starts listening…..FIND A NICHE AND DEVELOP IT, AND PRESENT YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT IN THAT NICHE!

I used capital letters to show you how serious I am with this point.


Content mills would not be able to hire you for $5 for a 500 word article if there was nobody willing to do it for that pay.  This is simple Supply and Demand.  There is a huge demand for online writing, but unfortunately there is a glut of writers willing to do that online writing for practically nothing.

There once was a day when writing was considered a craft, and people had to pay craftsman wages for that craft.  Today it’s all been watered down because people are just looking for a warm body who can fill in keywords and write decent grammar, and do it for five bucks.

I say to hell with that!

Establish a niche, give quality work, and do not settle for less than your time and effort is worth.  Got it?


When I am looking for extra work I always go to Craigslist for local listings for writers. There I find local companies who I can establish a rapport with, and there I can pick and choose depending on how much money is being offered.  You don’t need a link to Craigslist, do you?  Good because I’m not supplying one. J


Cape Cod Life is a regional magazine that obviously deals with lifestyles in the Cape Cod area.  They pay quite well and no, you do not have to live in that area to write about that lifestyle.  Check them out here and then use your imagination and creativity.  Give it a go; what do you have to lose?


NANO Fiction contest…..short stories of 300 words or less….deadline September 1st….you can find the guidelines and submission information here.  Seems like a cool contest to me.



You really don’t need me to explain this any longer, do you?


Get creative!  How about some YouTube to supplement your writing? How about starting your own writer’s forum?  How about putting together a writer’s group in your town and meet on a regular basis? How about doing interviews on a local radio program?  How about….how about….how about……


I hope you at least got something out of this to think about. I really want you all to succeed, but it is going to require you to step outside the box and do the extras necessary.  I have a ton of ideas but you have to do the work.

Have a great day and thank you for visiting.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Bringing Words To Life

1 May

003Welcome back my friends to the show that never sleeps.  Well, that’s an exaggeration of course, but I thought it sounded clever so what the heck?

Browse around and if you see something you like the make me an offer. If not, thanks for visiting and hopefully next time you stop by you’ll fall in love with some of my merchandise. J


Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.


Carol Burnett (1936 – )


An interesting quote and I honestly don’t know what Ms. Burnett had in mind when she said it.  To me it means that the way we form our words can give life to them, and therein lies the job of a writer…to give the words a great life rather than a mundane and boring life.

Do you breathe excitement into your words, or are your words on life support as soon as they hit the page?  As writers we have such incredible power.  Our words can inspire….thrill…sadden….incite….anger….or put someone to sleep. J


How are you doing with the Ten Second Rule?  Do you remember it?  The rule simply states that you have about ten seconds to interest your readers in your article, so you had better make that opening paragraph a great one.

Ten seconds……about one paragraph….and this applies to all kinds of writing with the possible exception of technical subjects….ten seconds to make your readers excited.

Here is the opening paragraph on a book I’m slowly working on. See what you think about the Ten Second Rule:

I take no pleasure in killing.  Never have, despite my background.  The simple fact of the matter is that some people deserve to be eliminated.  The molesters, the pimps, the drug dealers and the serial killers, they all deserve death.  They deal in death and death they shall receive, and I am the Fed Ex man more than willing to drop by with a little package for them.

What do you think? Did I grab your attention? Are you willing to read more?

Think about that next time you begin writing an article.


The Literarian Short Story Contest.  Guidelines and rules can be found here.

The prize is $1000 and work limit is 5000 words.  Worth looking at if you have a short story sitting around gathering dust.


Allow me to introduce you to a friend of mine. His name is Joe and you can find him here.

Besides being a very good writer with excellent insight, he is also a resident of the great state of Washington, so I’ll always be in his corner. J  Go take a look at his work. He is a good one!



This is from the tiny Alaskan village of Akiachak where I spent a rather long year teaching.  We will call it “Sunrise on the Kuskokwim.”  Does it bring to life any thoughts for you?


Thank you for visiting. I hope you picked up something useful during your visit.  Remember that you have tremendous power with the words that you choose.  Writing is an Art and hopefully you are treating it as such.  Engage your readers.  Breathe life into your writing.  Above all, stay passionate about this gift that you have been given.


Welcome To Artistry With Words

16 Apr

003Welcome to the first Artistry With Words blog posting.  I had a practice run a few days ago, but this is the real thing.

As always, this is a work in progress.  I’ll clean up the site as I go, or whenever I can get Bev to help me with it.  Just hang in there and I’ll have it looking better in time.

So, what do we do here?  Well, we talk about writing.  I’ll give some tips each posting, and steer you towards some sites that I think you might find helpful.  This is a giving site.  You will see no ads on this site. I’m not selling you anything.  We will exchange ideas and suggestions and hopefully we will all become better writers through the process.

Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.
Amy Tan

“ My most important rule is one that sums up my 10 rules:

 If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it”…..Elmore Leonard

I love that tip.  What’s Mr. Leonard saying?  This is just my interpretation, but I believe he is saying that writing is an art and as such should reflect real life.  We each have a unique writing voice, and we must use that voice to make our writing come alive.

We have all read bad writing.  It goes something like this:  blah, blah, blah, blah.  We have also all read great writing. It explodes off of the page and stirs our senses, and it sure doesn’t sound like writing.

“The wind grew stronger, whisked under stones, carried up straws and old leaves, and even little clods, marking its course as it sailed across the fields.  The air and the sky darkened and through them the sun shone redly, and there was a raw sting in the air.  During a night the wind raced faster over the land, dug cunningly among the rootlets of the corn, and the corn fought the wind with its weakened leaves until the roots were freed by the prying wind and then each stalk settled wearily sideways toward the earth and pointed the direction of the wind.”  The Grapes of Wrath

Read that paragraph by Steinbeck.  There is no way that sounds like writing.  What it does sound like is the stark face of reality, and I believe that is what Leonard was getting at with his tip of the day.Monarch Sculpture Park...Tenino July 2011 031


Short Story Contest Deadlines can be found at http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/thebusinessofwriting/a/contesthub.htm

There are contests happening every month of the year for all different genres. Make sure you read the submission rules carefully so you don’t waste time and effort.


I had fun…how about you?  Leave comments…sign up with your email and get notified of each new blog posting.  I hope you find this helpful.  If you have suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comment section.  I want this site to be of help to you, so tell me what you want and I’ll do what I can to deliver.

You can find me on HubPages at http://billybuc.hubpages.com/ and you are free to email me at holland1145@yahoo.com if you have questions related to writing.

Now, get out there and write!

Bill Holland